Sunday, April 01, 2007

Post NSW election softer news all around ...

Can we change the heart of politics? Clean own House
The bulk of the parliamentary budget, the $80 million a year which goes towards MPs' programs, has been left untouched. Mr Costa has also refused to cover ongoing shortfalls in the Parliamentary budget, resulting in a total cut of $1.44 million – none of which affects MPs. An internal briefing note by the Public Service Association warns that the cuts will eventually render the Parliament's operations unsustainable.

WELCOME back to Club Parliament where there is one set of rules for politicians and another set for everybody else.
Today we learn our 135 state MPs will continue to enjoy their extravagant perks of office while everybody else is obliged to tighten their belt. This from a Labor Party Government, supposedly the champion of the people.
Last year Treasurer Michael Costa told all Government departments to submit to a 1 per cent budget cut. Premier Morris Iemma chimed in, announcing public servants in rail would have their pay linked to productivity – and complaints. The hypocrisy is self-evident and offensive. A NSW minister earns about $225,000 a year in base salary. Last year they received a 7 per cent pay rise, putting them in the top 1 per cent of wage earners in the country. On top of that they can collect up to $65,000 for postage, $75,000 for electoral allowances (staying in hotels) and $36,000 for logistic support (sending emails). Can anyone suggest there is no fat in these expenses? There also appears to be an inverse relationship between MP's pay rises and their sitting days; as one goes up, the other goes down. Increasingly, we are told our pay will be linked to individual productivity. Yet that principle does not seem to apply to NSW MPs, whether Government or Opposition; they all drink from the same trough. But in the Parliamentary corridors there's a constant whisper; if you think John Howard's WorkChoices is frightening, you haven't met Michael Costa.

Past is a Foreign Country ; [Australian Story; Democratic Webdiary]
• · Exclusive by Joe Hildebrand READERS have reacted with outrage to our revealtions that the State Government secretly moved to protect MPs' perks and allowances while at the same time slashing the resources of every government department and cutting 5000 jobs. Outrage over MPs' secret perks ; Stories Spin Masters try to kill
• · ; THERE'S melodrama, there's soap opera, and then there's ... the bearpit. Power in the House